Balancing Privacy and Utility - The Openness of eHealth Data

Project: Dissertation


The focus of this PhD research project is on the association between perceived fairness of electronic health services (eHealth) and the willingness to use said services. The theoretical framework is organizational justice theory which distinguishes between four types of justice dimensions: distributive justice, procedural justice, interpersonal justice, and informational justice. The privacy calculus is applied as an analytical tool to examine the risk-benefit analysis that precedes individual decisions to act in situations which involve a potential threat to personal information privacy. One premise for this research is that material structures of eHealth, including devices needed to use the services (personal computers, smartphones, tablets, etc.), affect user perceptions of eHealth services from an information privacy perspective. Data have been collected by way of online questionnaire in which approximately 1 500 respondents were asked about their perceptions of a Swedish “health app”, through which patients meet doctors via video meeting using webcams or smartphone cameras. The project applies a mixed methods research design. Data will be analyzed primarily through partial least squares (PLS) path modeling and complemented with analysis techniques, such as fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fs/QCA) and text mining. The aim of the project is to shed light on the association between perceived fairness and willingness to act in eHealth environments. Of certain interest is to investigate whether eHealth creates normative boundaries by including some types of users while excluding other groups of people. Deeper knowledge concerning these issues may have implications for regulations of the management of sensitive health information and patient data.

The project is funded partly by the Swedish Public Health Agency.
Effective start/end date2013/09/01 → …


Related research output

Peter Bergwall & Karl Dahlstrand, 2016 Nov 3, (Accepted/In press) Scandinavian Studies in Law: Law without the state. Wahlgren, P. (ed.). Stockholm: Stockholm: Stockholm Institute for Scandinavian Law, Vol. 62. 27 p. (Scandinavian Studies in Law; vol. 62).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

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